Nant Gwrtheyrn

Nant Gwrtheyrn

  • Location: Porth Y Nant
  • Distance: 2 miles round trip
  • Walking guide: Twm Elias
  • Description of this walk: A two hour walk using a network of paths through a beautiful valley.

Getting there

To get to Porth y Nant follow the signs from Llithfaen and down the very steep road into the dramatic, encosed coastal valley of Nant Gwrtheyrn.

From the car park follow the track past the café and then down to the beach. The upper levels are suitable for wheelchairs, but the path down to the beach is steep and rough.

From Llithfaen, brace yourself for a precipitous car ride down to the beautiful, secluded valley of Nant Gwrtheyrn.

This is a very special walk where the exhilaration on the way down is matched by the peace and tranquillity of an area of outstanding natural beauty.


If the sea and wind are calm then you might just hear some of the local bird calls. Listen out for wheatear in summer as well as chough and raven which all nest along here.

The walk is a gentle stroll to the beach from the car park next to the village of Nant Gwrtheryn. This has now been fully restored, and functions as a Welsh Language Residential Centre.


The area used to be used extensively for the quarrying of granite sets, which were shipped to the main centres of population in the North of England at the end of the 19th Century.

Alongside the footpath you'll be able to see the waste granite chippings from this time, now becoming colonised by 'feather ferns' and lovely wild flowers.

The stone was exported from the coast, but the landing quays have now disappeared, increasing the sense of isolation.

If you would like more challenging walks from Nant Gwrtheyrn, consult your O/S map, as there are plenty that radiate from the village which take in the surrounding hills and woods.

Lost love

The woods behind the village are the setting for the sad story concerning a young couple called Rhys and Meinir who lived in the valley centuries ago.

On their wedding day, Meinir, as was the custom, hid in the trees prior to her wedding. Unfortunately, she was never found, and her husband to be became distracted with grief, living his life as a hermit on the hillside.

Eventually, they were reunited, after a violent storm, when Rhys discovered his bride's skeleton inside the hollow trunk of an oak tree that had shattered after being struck by lightning. He died on the spot, together with his love.

This walk first appeared on Radio Wales, Weatherman Walking, series 2 in 2003.

Weatherman Walking

Derek Brockway

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Photos taken on location during Weatherman Walking.

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